WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Medical records containing all the personal information of more than 1,400 patients at a Winter Haven Clinic have been stolen, the clinic announced Tuesday.
The Gessler Clinic first thought the records at its orthopedic practice were misplaced but eventually determined someone stole the documents -- called charge tickets.
The documents contain personal, financial, and medical information including a patient’s social security number, address, diagnosis, and insurance information.
“Our detectives are doing everything they can to follow up on anyone who has any access with the areas where these records had been stored,” said Jamie Brown, Spokesperson for the Winter Haven Police Department.
On Wednesday, no one at the Gessler Clinic would comment on the stolen records.
In a release on its web site, Dr. John J. McGetrick, President of the Gessler Clinic Board of Directors said, “We apologize to all the patients involved. We recognize the concerns that they may have about what happened and we want them to feel secure that every step is being taken to address this breach of our security and their privacy.”
The clinic says all the patients who had their information stolen will be notified this week. Due to the risk of identity theft, the clinic is offering affected patients one year of free credit monitoring service.
Police also recommend doing some work on your own.
“If they obtain their credit report, they can find out immediately if there’s been anything unusual on their credit whatsoever,” Brown said.
She also said patients may want to take the extra step and freeze their credit. It only costs a small fee.
“What this does, to freeze your credit is it actually prohibits any new credit from being opened under your name or your information,” she said.
The Gessler Clinic set up a hotline to assist affected patients at (877) 313-1403. Read the clinic's statement on its web site at http://gesslerclinic.com/gessler-website-notice/
Patients with additional questions or concerns call also call the Winter Haven Police Crime Prevention line at (863) 295-5905.
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